Route 52 Causeway Bridges
- Sep 27, 2011
In 2006, the New Jersey Department of Transportation started work on replacement of Route 52 Causeway bridges between Somers Point and Ocean City. This route is a critical emergency evacuation route for Ocean City. The new bridge consists of two parallel bridges with high fixed spans over Ship Channel and Beach Thorofare (Intracoastal Waterway). The roadway section will have two 12-foot lanes and 8-foot minimum outside shoulders in each direction separated by a concrete median barrier. The project also includes a visitor’s center for Ocean City and four fishing piers, built of the main structure.
The existing bridges consist of two fixed and two moveable bridges, built in the 1930s at a cost of $2 million. During storms, waves would wash over the bridges making them impassable. Further, the bridge is not wide enough to accept emergency traffic. Since this work is important to New Jersey’s tourism industry, the New Jersey Department of Transportation has been working closely with residents, community associations and elected officials to develop designs that enhance the scenic and historic aspects of the two communities as well as to preserve the ecological balance of the wetlands and waterways that it spans.
The structure consists of over 300 prestressed concrete beams with lengths averaging 100 ft. These are supported by concrete piers that sit on concrete piles that average 100 ft in length. Over 60 percent of the project was being built from the water level. Epoxy-coated reinforcing steel (ECR rebar) was used in the deck construction to provide corrosion protection to the reinforcing steel.